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by Shade

Disclaimer: Ranma ½ and affiliates are the property of Rumiko Takahashi, Rifts and Phase World are owned by Palladium. Other references belong to their respective owners.

1-D: With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies?!

From their places on the Plane of Neutrality several interested parties watched Ranma in the Pool of Destiny. Currently it was now at one of those all too rare quiet moments, the calm before the storm so to speak.

"I never thought I'd say this but I feel sorry for him." Shadow shook his head in disbelief at the sheer amount of havoc that one little change had caused. And he'd thought his life had been messed up. This universe's Ranma had problems that would kill a lesser man, figuratively and literally.

The Splugorth never were good losers; toss in the Vampire Intelligences, half the Dark Pantheons, the Kreeghor Empire, Naruni Enterprises, the Coalition States, the Gargoyle Empire and assorted villains and monsters that would all love to see Saotome as a corpse and you had a recipe for Trouble ala Ranma. How any one person could manage to offend ALL of them and still stay in one piece for so long was a mystery beyond even Shadow's comprehension.

"Um… can someone refresh my memory? I'm not that familiar with this class of Knight." The Bard was rather envious at this point. Why couldn't HE have this kind of luck with girls?!

The Guardian had finally gotten over his shock, and even felt a grudging admiration toward Zora for having the sheer audacity to pull something like this. He produced a podium and chart from "Gratuitous Plot Device Space" and went into his droning professor lecture mode

The others groaned painfully.

"Ranma has been changed by the Cosmic Forge, an ancient sentient artifact of immense power, into one of the most powerful classes of heroes in the Multiverse."

A life-sized three-dimensional hologram of Ranma projected from the chart behind him. It was perfect in very detail down to the number of hairs in Ranma's pigtail.

"Part of this transformation process literally recreates the chosen Knight's body into one at the peak of their full potential. They become faster, healthier, much tougher, and a lot stronger. In Ranma's specific case it also appears to have compensated for the ten years of malnutrition that he suffered under Genma's care."

The Guardian produced a laser pointer that he used to highlight the changes to Ranma's physique. The female portion of the audience suddenly started to pay close attention to the territory the red light roamed over.

"Note for instance, a growth in height of approximately eight inches as well as a 35% increase in general muscular development."

Wolf whistles came from some of the Valkyries as well as from some of the more uninhibited nymphs.

"Ranma's features also have undergone a change that gives him a more refined and mature look that seems to be partly responsible for his problems with over enthusiastic women."

Chuckles and snickers from the males were greeted with dirty looks from the assorted females.

The men wisely shut up.

"As a higher order of being he doesn't need food and can function quite effectively even in the vacuum of space. Also as a CosmoKnight, Ranma is essentially immortal. He won't ever age past the point where he was transformed. Unless something kills him, he just won't die."

"Oh that makes plenty of sense." Sarcasm was Shadow's forte and he used it with the same precision that made him the deadly swordmaster he was.

"Let's not forget his combat abilities." Rowan reminded him, this unusual break from his normal quiet mode raising a few eyebrows.

"You're the tactician Shadow."


A giant movie screen replaced the chart. The dark warrior always was one for the dramatic.

A new picture of Ranma appeared, this time from one of the many battles he had fought in the world of Rifts.

"To make a long story short CosmoKnights are able to shrug off most conventional weaponry. Nothing short of a duranium hyper-velocity rail-gun slug will cause more then superficial damage to them. Energy Weapons are even worse, Ranma's resistance to them is so great that it would take at least a CCW Cruiser Mark XXX Heavy Particle Beam Cannon to give him more then a minor burn. As for plasma or nuclear weapons, forget it. He can laugh them off. Theoretically, a CosmoKnight can survive even in the raging inferno that lies within the heart of a star."

"Holy shit."

"Exactly, and that's not even the tip of the iceberg. Ranma's got a set of Cosmic Armor that is as tough as he is and that he can summon at any time."

"Jeez, can ANYTHING hurt him anymore?!?"

"I didn't say that he doesn't have any weaknesses. Notice I said `conventional' weapons."

"You mean…?"

"Magic, psionics, ki, and all sorts of unconventional attacks work just fine on him. Also most supernatural monsters are quite capable of hurting him as well, although he can hurt them back, too."

"Interesting choice of armor. I was expecting something a little more medieval from Ranma."

"Appearances can be deceiving, Rowan."


"What the heck is that?!"

The Bard pointed to a scene where Ranma was fighting one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. A giant beam of prismatic energy that made the Perfect Shi-Shi-Hokodan look like one of Dan Hibiki's fireballs blasted forth from Ranma's outstretched hands to utterly engulf the demon of Pestilence. When the glare from the blast and resulting explosion died away all that was left of it was a small mound of bug ashes and charred bones inside of a twenty-foot crater. Ranma casually blew two small wisps of smoke from his forefingers before the image dissolved and reformed back to the present.

"That… was impressive."

"Oh, that would just be his Cosmic Energy Blasts."

"Just his WHAT Blasts?!"

"Ranma's now a living battery of Cosmic Energy, he can fire blasts of it from his hands at will."

"Exactly how strong are these blasts of his?"

"They're about as powerful as a midsize tactical nuke in the 10-15 megaton range. Maybe a little bit more now that he's gotten more experienced at using them. If he's in space Ranma can temporarily pump them up to the level of anti-matter cruise missiles. Course that would also drain most of his energy reserves, but he can still do it. Keep in mind now that there is a difference in terms of the area affected. Ranma's attack can be considered more powerful because the beams travel straight and affect a much smaller target area with all of that damage, and even though the blasts are very powerful Ranma also has pinpoint accuracy when firing them."

"Are you putting me ON?!"

"Do I look like I'm joking here?"

"Bu… bu… bu… but… THAT'S INSANE!!!"

"I guess the Cosmic Weapon can wait."

The Bard's eyebrows twitched violently.

-Back to Someplace Relatively Normal

Nodoka Saotome smiled at the young and very beautiful teenage girl. Such fire, such spirit, such skill with a Soul Sword. This would be an excellent mate for Ranma. Yohko was a bride fit for a man among men.

After all it was a mother's duty to make sure that only the best became her son's fiancée.

"So do we have a deal?" Yohko's mother held out her hand.

"Deal." They shook hands. One shared thought filled both their minds.


Genma spent all of five minutes searching for his son. His thoughts ran along the lines of what his eventual fate would be if he couldn't find Ranma.


Genma being Genma finally came up with a way to save his furry hide for at least another day.

{I'll just hide at the Tendo's! Once I explain everything to Soun he won't mind.}

He had a plan. Poor ungrateful Ranma, the boy just had to go and drown to spoil all of his father's plans for a long and luxurious retirement.

Oh well, time to go find something to eat.

Genma the Grizzly shambled off in the direction of the Chinese Amazon village.

About half an hour after Genma left another figure entered the cursed training ground of Jusenkyo.

"Where on Earth am I now??!!!" Ryouga screamed up to the uncaring heavens.

In hindsight it really wasn't such a smart idea for him to hold up his umbrella dramatically to the looming black thunderstorm approaching and yell, "Damn you, Ranma Saotome!!! This is all your fault!!"

Lightning crashed down.

Unfortunately for Ryouga, this was the Trademarked Secret Technique of the Kuno clan.

Divine Copyright Protection Enforcement kicked in.

Ryouga learned that depleted uranium umbrellas make great lightning rods.



A blackened Ryouga desperately leapt into the nearest spring to put out the fire in his hair.

Again, in hindsight this wasn't one of his brighter ideas.


Ranma moaned softly around the tongue dancing in his mouth.

The bane of the lost boy's existence was busy at the moment. One by one the individual crewmembers had snuck into his room to give him a "personal farewell". Right now Commander Ayla had him backed up against his cabin wall as she gave him a lip lock that would have suffocated Ranma if he hadn’t been what he was.

It wasn't that he was a lecher or a cad. Ranma just could not deny a girl when she wanted something from him, one of the leftover remnants of his training under Genma.

It would be at least a week until he left. Good thing he didn't need sleep anymore. At this rate he wasn’t going to even get a chance to close his eyes, let alone find time for a nap.

A familiar softness pressed against his chest to remind him that there were other, more pleasant things to think about now.

{Nope. Definitely not going to get any sleep on this trip.}


To be continued

Part 2-A
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